On July 30, 2012, the six New England Governors adopted a Resolution Directing NESCOE to Implement a Work Plan for the Competitive Coordinated Procurement of Regional Renewable Power. The Governors identified the goal of issuing a solicitation for procurement by the end of December 2013.
This latest Resolution follows a series of New England Governors’ resolutions from 2009-2011 expressing interest in exploring joint or separate but coordinated, competitive procurement as a means to identify those renewable resources located in or proximate to the region that could help meet the region’s clean energy goals at the lowest “all-in” cost (generation and transmission combined).
Related efforts since 2009 also informed the Governors’ 2012 Resolution:
- The 2009 New England Governors’ Renewable Energy Blueprint prepared by NESCOE and associated technical analysis (2009 Economic Study) prepared by ISO-NE. The Blueprint identified the significant renewable resources located in and around the region and the potential for New England to coordinate competitive renewable power procurement and better coordinate siting of interstate transmission facilities.
- In mid-2010, in response to the New England Governors’ request by Resolution, NESCOE provided the Governors with a Report on Coordinated Renewable Procurement. The Report identified potential coordination mechanisms and preliminary ideas about contractual terms and conditions.
- A 2011 Request for Information (RFI) from renewable developers and others, including transmission owners. Responses to the RFI confirmed that sufficient potential resources exist to enable New England to develop or import Renewable Portfolio Standard-qualifying renewable energy to meet the region’s renewable energy goals.
- A 2012 Renewable Supply Curve Analysis provided information about the relative, directionally indicative costs of on- and off-shore wind resources in two study years. Wind was selected for this analysis not because of a preference for this resource type over others, but because it was the predominant resource that responded to the 2011 RFI and was the subject of several ISO-NE studies.
In response to the Governors’ July 2012 Resolution, NESCOE issued a draft Work Plan for stakeholder comment in late summer 2012 and finalized its Work Plan in November 2012. The Work Plan is designed to facilitate coordination among the six New England states in pursuing the potential development of renewable resources through the issuance of a Request for Proposals (RFP). However, the Work Plan is clear that participation in the RFP process does not bind any state to procure any level of resources. Whether, to what extent, and under what terms and conditions a state will commit to any particular resources will depend on state regulatory authorities’ analyses and decisions.
Following issuance of a public notice of the final Work Plan, NESCOE formed a Procurement Team (PT) comprised of NESCOE staff, state agency personnel, and representatives of New England electric distribution companies identified by the states. NESCOE also formed a Legal Subteam comprised of NESCOE staff and staff from New England state agencies with expertise in that state’s legal requirements. By the end of 2012, the PT and Legal Subteam began to implement the Work Plan, including developing a draft RFP, evaluation criteria, and a model Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).